These posts are also being posted on the 10:31 blog, run by the guy doing my internship, Dave Brewer. I have heard many complaints, especially from Brew, that the articles I write are way too long (I don't really have to tell you this if you've read this blog for any length of time, you already know). This is the response I gave to introduce Day 3, followed by the rest of the post:
I am well aware that I write too much for normal people to want to read. I think it’s a result of my reading too much Tim Challies and Pyromaniacs, excellent blogs with a penchant for exceeding 1000 words in a typical post. I also tend to have a lot to say no matter where I am, which translates into my blogging. So I’ll try to keep this post short, but since it has several parts, my suggested method of reading it is to browse the headings and read the sections that interest you.
Today we finished Samuel and started into Proverbs. Let me tell you, this course is one of those described as “drinking out of a fire hydrant.” However, I did manage to swallow some bits, so here they are:
1) The Lord’s regret versus the Lord’s sovereignty. As we were talking about how 1 Samuel 15:35 says “the Lord regretted that he had made Saul king over Israel” and 15:29 says “the [Lord]…is not a man, that he should have regret” and the apparent contradiction between the two statements. Mr. Chick shared a quote from Dale Ralph Davis that helped me personally as it expounded on the greatness and mystery of God:
Only in the consistent God of verse 29 and in the sorrowful God of verse 35 do we find the God worthy of praise. Here is a God who is neither fickle in his ways nor indifferent in his responses. Here is a God who has both firmness and feeling. If we cannot comprehend we can perhaps apprehend, at least enough to adore.
2) David’s rule, messed-up though it was, demonstrates God’s faithfulness. David sure messed up majorly during his rule. He slept with Bathsheba, killed her husband, took a census against God’s orders, was a failure as a father, etc. And yet he was still considered “a man after God’s own heart,” the man through whom God would found an eternal dynasty, the man from whom Jesus would descend. Why? Because God is faithful, despite our failures. He had promised David that his offspring would rule forever, and even though David failed to live up to his end of the bargain (to rule righteously), God keeps his promises. Plus, David’s failures point to a future king who will never fail: Jesus Christ.
3) A proverb is a short, memorable statement which crystallizes reality and exposes illusion, compelling the hearer to choose reality. That’s John Loftness’s definition, and I really find it a helpful way to understand the purpose of Proverbs.
4) Proverbs uses “Yahweh” as God’s name almost exclusively, showing the importance of the covenant to understanding the book. Yahweh is the name of God used in relation with his covenant with Israel. Since Proverbs uses it almost exclusively, it must have some significance to understanding the book, and what Mr. Chick said is this: “Wisdom is not to be separated from relationship with the one who gives it.” If we’re to understand Proverbs, we must be in relationship with God, the author of all knowledge.
5) He who knows not can be taught, but he who knows not that he knows not is a fool. Just a pithy saying from the mouth of Mr. Chick that I particularly liked.
6) Definition of the fear of the Lord. Brew may have shared this quote from Charles Bridges in his sermon at the last 10:31 meeting, but I thought it was so good I just have to share it again.
But what is the fear of the Lord? It is that affectionate reverence by which the child of God bends himself humbly and carefully to his Father’s law. God’s wrath is so bitter and his love so sweet that we have this earnest desire to please him and to fear him, so that we will not sin against him.
There, that’s a little shorter and hopefully easier to read. Tomorrow’s the last day, and it’s only a half-day, so it will likely be a much shorter post. Until then…uh…eat your Wheaties! :-D